I sustained a TBI 15 yrs ago....I work as a pre-school teachers aide full time, I am married and have two daughters, 6 and 14. I struggle everyday with fatigue, physically and mentally. Im always tired and could sleep forever. My family thinks im just lazy. :( Does anyone else struggle with this problem? Any suggestions?
HI, Fatigue is my biggest problem....I have learned to cancel schedules once my body tells me it is nap time...... Gracie my dog, seems to know too, as she "informs" me that it is nap time.... "man's best friend ." ! Naps are a time of letting thoughts go, relaxing, and somewhat of a meditation.... I let the brain reconfigure everything..... and sometimes sleep for hours.... just the laying down part, saves having confrontations with family, and self..... and no, you are not lazy..... Have your Dr. check out your medications, if any, and then listen to your body, This is an acceptance that I have learned to take, with tbi... so I do not make so many mistakes in everyday things.... Thanks for your question, it actually made me feel better !
Wait?! You work full-time with little pre-schoolers?! That's exhausting work even without having a TBI! Plus you are trying to take care of your family when you get home?!
Perhaps those who think you are just lazy should read this article:
Good luck. I hope you get the support you need from your family.
Also, be sure to check thyroid, B12, thiamine, D, iron, and whatever else is known to cause fatigue, to be sure that you don't have anything else compounding your TBI fatigue.
Polly!....Thank you for sharing this article! Wow...now I can show this to my parents, husband, and kids. Yes I am a Pre-K teaching assistant, 30 sweet, loud, active 4 and 5 yr olds all day, then tball games, track meets, basketball games with my own girls......plus my Husband is a High School coach so its like never ending. So when I get home and if we don't have anything to do, I will go to sleep and on the weekends if we don't have to do anything, I sleep. My parents are the worst ones that make the most remarks to me about being Lazy and sleeping too much. But anyway, thank you so much for sharing this! :)
Glad to help, Southern Girl. Support is so important to our well-being. I hope this article helps bring more understanding from those who are close to you.
I struggle with extreme fatigue, yet I have insomnia. Once asleep, I also wont wake up for 15 hours with the loudest alarm clock. I have to actually have someone in the room talking to me and shaking me to get awake. It makes me very unreliable. I have very low energy when awake even though I have to take Adderol to wake up.
UM, of all the pre-school teachers I know--they are ALL TIRED, NONE OF THEM IS LAZY, and with a TBI to boot? Well I think you are AWESOME!!! And two active kids too? GEEZ!
Now that I ranted and got that off my chest.... You asked for suggestions. I don't really have many for you--a nap isn't exactly something you can do--do you tell the kids to watch themselves--don't think so! But be certain you are eating well, hydrating yourself (water is best) and getting as much good sleep as you can possibly get. If you can eliminate even ONE outside activity, or limit the your kids activities it won't kill them and it will help YOU.
NOW comes the woman to woman speech. I was SUPERWOMAN. I did it ALL. My hubs traveled all the time, so I truly did. When my accident happened, I went back to work too soon. What happened? I accomplished ANOTHER TBI that I truly contribute to being too overworked to pay attention to what was happening to my body. I fell. And being as talented as I am (ROTF) I hit right next to the other injury--whap. Same area, totally different set of symptoms. Three years after THAT? I developed seizures. What I am trying to tell you--is this can be something you work with (and thru... it isn't a life stopper, it is a life CHANGER). BUT YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION! Your family needs to help you find balance.
I have a dear friend. Miss Betty. Gosh she is sweet. She had five kids alone for many years. Sunday afternoon was nap time. Dinner in the crock pot (a working woman's best friend--even cheap food tastes yummy), and the kids were ALL instructed to keep it quiet, and don't bug each other or MOM. Why? Because if they all wanted to make it thru the following week? They better let MAMA NAP. :) You need back up dear. Give yourself a break and a giant HUG.
That is not laziness, you are busy without having tbi. It sounds overwhelming. We do what we have to but those who say such things, remind yourself of what is most important, and likely it is not the cleanest of house or homemade baked goods. Do your best and ignore those comments. Hugs and prayers to you
I am tortured with exhaustion and my severe brain injury was 15 years ago. I wake up all through the night and up in the morning between 6am-7am. I am done by about 3pm-4pm in the afternoon and I have to go to bed around 7pm. It is difficult to think throughout the day especially when I am tired and don't even talk about the fact that those of us that are women have it especially tough at certain times of the month...at least I do. It is just something that I have learned to accomodate. It is a total bummer, but all we can do is rest and know that we all have a great purpose.
This morning I was thinking about this post. I work out at our local Y, and was there. A couple of ladies were there-they are just a few years older than I am, and either are at the Y or walk together 3-4 days a week. Both are still working. One of them said 'well, we have to go, WE WORK' and I just was shot. It hurt so badly. I don't think she was trying to be 'ugly' but it sure hit me where it hurts.
I WANT to go back to work. It would be of great help to my husband and I, as he is an independent consultant, and while he makes great money when he is working, the economy left us without work for 3 years straight. Yes, I do my own housework, yard work and most cooking. Yes, I work out at the Y, and I am able to volunteer at a few things each week. However, I cannot DEPEND on any of that. Recently, I was offered a great job in an awesome office. I nearly burst into tears. I had to say to these folks I enjoy a lot "I am not dependable". Do they have ANY idea how hard that statement is to say? Well, these folks did... but I doubt most would. It hurt!
Maybe some day I will be able to... Should I beat myself up because I can't yet?
I know I am rambling, but for some reason I felt this fit here some how. These folks have not walked a mile in yours or my shoes. They probably would not choose to do so either!
We all need to not beat up on one another...
Barb I understand just how you feel. I use to work with womens groups. A topic came up in group (that I personally experienced elsewhere in my life). Working mom vs stay at home moms. Its a shame that it is this way with women, but it is.
I had the benefit of being a stay at home mom with my last 2 daughters who were 18 months apart. I also had an 11 year old daughter at the time, and was a single working mom during those years for her. I was very grateful to be a stay at home mom and volunteered everywhere they went to school and a lot. PTA-chair committies, work food boths, library, book sales, spring carnival, etc. I loved doing this, and most of the same 10% of moms(stay at home) did 90% of the work. It was normal to hear a dig about working moms, such as-who wants to call Mrs Jones and see if she would like to bake something (sarcastic) or, when turned down for help, a dig such as-well she wouldnt need to work if she didnt have to have that SUV.
On the other hand, many times in conversation, working moms would say (in a resentful tone), no I cant volunteer for that-I HAVE TO WORK. Or, If I didnt need to work, I would bake too!
It was as if there were 2 distinct sub groups at times, and they had little compassion for the other. I really dislike when women go out of their way to make other women feel less confident about whatever position they have in life or whatever choices they have made.
We do not all bring the same thing to the table, but we all bring something, and that is what is important. We do not all have the same opportunities or responsibilities for many reasons, a disability being just one. I think we get so much of our self esteem from what we do, what we contribute, nurturing others, and when the nest becomes empty, if we are not contributing financially and dont have a job, we feel like we have lost our purpose.
We have not lost our purpose though, we just have to re-define it. No you should not beat yourself up, I hope you find some compassionate words for yourself. You are so right, we do need to be kinder to one another about differences. Thanks for sharing this-I think it is very appropriate here. Our energy and fatigue is limiting and we can accept that. I think when we start embracing that as part of who we are, it either becomes less important or it might even improve, as the self imposed pressure to do better is tiring in itself. I am still practicing that acceptance.
Barb, I can totally appreciate what you wrote. My husband has two children 7 and 10 (girls) from his previous marriage and she is constantly reminding me that she has to work. It is extremely insulting and she repeats it at least 10 times during a conversation. My job is helping to care for her children and my husband. It is not an easy thing for me to do, but I manage. It is interesting that we are almost resented for not being capable of working. Just because we look and sound totally normal, it is still an invisible disability!!!!!!!!!!!! Well said. God Bless. Kerry
THANK YOU! Mary, I too was a single Mom for many years, and worked and went to school (sometimes multiple jobs to make ends meet). Kerry, your husbands ex sounds like mine... geez... what is it with people?
I have been on this receiving end too many times. There is a SEASON in each of our lives...
One of my son-in-laws right now is going through the "well, YOU are HOME all day, so why can't YOU" thing... UM. My daughter cares for several before/after school kids AND a special needs boy and then drop ins, beyond her own two kids. AGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love him, but want to slap him. :)
I loved the lady who actually said to me on a fundraising phone call once, "no, I do not volunteer in evenings because that is the time for my CHILDREN. You don't WANT me to bake, as I am a rotten cook. My husband is out of work... but that means we are struggling, so please don't call me again. If I can, I WILL, if I can't, well... I won't. I CAN READ the multiple flyers coming home". SHE WAS A GREAT MOM. Wonderful Parent, and Honest member of community. Should she be put down? NOPE. NOW, how about that 'showy' mom driving the Lexus in that fancy suit, whose CHECKS BOUNCE EVERY TIME????
Like I said, we all have our seasons...